03 March 2014

Maryland from a Different View

Have you ever wondered what Maryland looks like to a bird in flight?

Local aerial photographer/videographer Larry Rogers of Mid-Atlantic Aerial Videography and Photography shows us Maryland from a different view in this exclusive interview.

Rogers captures stunning photos and videos of Maryland from the sky using a quad copter + GoPro combination that can fly about 3,000 feet in any direction. The mechanism runs on battery, and it can fly for about 25 minutes per charge. I was curious about Rogers' profession after seeing his work, so I asked him a few questions.

From top: (1) The sunset overlooking the Chesapeake Bay and Annapolis just west of the Bay Bridge. Photo by David Butts. (2) Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium. Photo by Larry Rogers. (3) The beautiful South River. Photo by David Butts. (4) An aerial view of Ocean City, Md.'s boardwalk. Photo by Larry Rogers.

The Annapolitan: How did you get into this profession?
Larry Rogers: The reason I got into aerial videography and photography is a cousin of mine from North Carolina was posting pictures using the same device to capture aerial at a seldom-seen vantage point. You normally have photos anyone can capture (ground level, out of the window of a tall building, scenic overlooks, etc.), or you have photos or videos from a helicopter or airplane that should be at least 1,000 feet above the ground. This is the true bird’s eye view, from 50 to 400 feet above in tight urban settings, rural country environments, over wildlife that would never let a human near, all for the low cost of a few thousand dollars.

TA: What kinds of projects do you work on for clients?
LR: I have been kind of just practicing at this point while the Federal Aviation Administration irons out the commercial use of these devices. This has been beneficial as I have been able to practice during the least aesthetically pleasing time of the year in Maryland [Editor's note: winter]. I have entertained conversations with several businesses (marinas, cinematographers, colleges and more) and plan to begin commercial operation in the spring/summer.

TA: Have you ever crashed?
LR: Yes, several times, but I am getting better.

TA: A lot of people are probably wondering this: Can you spy on people with the quad copter?
LR: Not that I really want to, but no. I usually shoot in wide angle, which makes everything look far away. And secondly, I have a quad copter that sounds like a swarm of bees and is flashing red and green lights, so I am sneaking up on nobody.

TA: Where has your work been seen/where can we find your work?
LR: My personal work has been featured on The Weather Channel, in The Maryland Gazette and in The Capital, with photos occasionally appearing on other local and national news outlets and on social media. I am not the only one in the country doing this, and not the only one in Maryland, either. I began publishing videos to YouTube in October 2013 and founded a Facebook page to share pictures and videos in December 2013. In January, I added who I consider to be the only other person in Maryland who is doing exactly what I am doing (and doing it well) as an administrator to the Facebook page. His name is David Butts of Annapolis, Md., and he is extremely talented and has brought a different perspective to what I was trying to accomplish with this page.

See more of Larry's work on Twitter, YouTube, and his collaborative Facebook page, which he shares with fellow aerial photographer/videographer David Butts.